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Should Teams Start Relievers?
2005-07-07 08:05
by Scott Long

Lou Pinella, after another relief pitching disaster on Tuesday, told the press that he was planning on starting a reliever in Wednesday game and then would bring in a starting pitcher after a couple of innings. He decided against it when he got back to the park on Wednesday, but it was an interesting idea. My question is has anyone attempted this strategy on a scale of more than 1 game? I've thought before about how some starting pitchers have a hard time with the first inning and wondered if this strategy would work, as it might just be that they are too jacked up and would benefit from coming in during the second. Please discuss.

Also, if you weren't aware, SPIN magazine came out with their Top 100 CD's of the past 20 Years. (1985-2005) Over the next week, I will be putting up my list, so be thinking of your Top 10, as it should be interesting.

2005-07-07 09:10:03
1.   Todd S
I don't know if it will work or not, but I can't think of a better environment to try it in than Tampa Bay in 2005. What could they possibly have to lose?

A top 10 CD list, huh? Interesting. I guess I can't nominate one of my favorites: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis (1974).

2005-07-07 12:50:48
2.   Smed
The only thing similar that I remember is that Tony LaRussa, when he was at Oakland, did something similar in July of 1993 when for a period of a couple weeks had his pitchers go in shifts, where two pitchers would pitch a game (three to four innings at a time), and they'd have the short men fill in the gaps.

I think there was some resistance amongst the pitchers, but hey, it was worth a shot then.

2005-07-07 12:57:13
3.   Smed
Oh, and I'm sure Spin will add a lot of albums by current hipsters on their list. Though I did see the bottom part of the list online, and they did put a Big Black record on there!

It's typical they'd put a Radiohead album as #1. I remember in the early 90's they were all Jane's Addiction and Perry Farrell, all the time. Then it was all things Beck.

And for a long time, they've been having a thing for Karen O and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which I find OK but nothing earth shattering, really.

2005-07-07 13:50:16
4.   tem213
Smed - Granted these lists are subjective and a collaboration of just a few people's opinions, but I can't imagine many better albums than OK Computer, or for that matter a few of the other Radiohead albums. They've created their own, original sound, so they're not like way too many of the bands around today (or really the vast majority) who are content to simply imitate the style of other popular bands. That gives them a huge leg up IMHO
2005-07-07 14:44:26
5.   Smed
Well, in terms of innovation and doing your own thing and blazing trails is the main criteria then I think Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth should be #1. (It is worthy, for sure, of being listed in the top 5 or 10).

It's not like I dislike Radiohead - it just wasn't all it was hyped up to be. I guess nothing really is - but I was expecting something more than I got.

I'd probably put the Pixies Doolittle as #1. It not only is unique, it ROCKS. And that is just as important.

2005-07-07 21:36:02
6.   tem213
For some reason I've never been able to get into Sonic Youth, but everyone I know who knows their stuff is a huge fan, and they've been around doing their thing for a while so I gotta give em respect for that. The Pixies, well, they rock my lame ass. I can't say much more than that.

Nothing incredibly original, athough it's tough for a singer/songwriter to be that unique, but Elliott Smith's Either/Or would be high on my list. Recent top albums I'd include (not sure how high) would be Brian Wilson's Smile and The Arcade Fire's debut. Going back further, damn that's a tough task. I suppose I'd kick myself for not throwing either of The Shins' albums up there, although I'm not sure any of these would fall in the top 10, but definitely top 100.

Even though this is all so subjective, I dig seeing lists like this.

2005-07-08 06:18:53
7.   Blah Blah Blah
It doesn't meet the "more than once" criteria, but the boldest use of this I recall was in the 1990 LCS when Jim Leyland started a reliever, Ted Power, just to force Cincinatti into choosing it's platoon (they were using Braggs/O'Neill and Benzinger/Morris, to name the ones I remember).

He then went to Zane Smith, the scheduled starter. Bucs were down 3-2 at that point and lost 2-1, so I guess the strategy worked ok in and of itself.

2005-07-08 06:19:33
8.   Blah Blah Blah
I should have said "down 3 games to 2".
2005-07-08 06:33:44
9.   Blah Blah Blah
I only saw the top 10. Although it's a real nice album, I own it and like it, De La Soul belongs in a 20 year Top-10 about as much as I belong in the MLB all-star game.

I would like to know if and where Tim and New Day Rising are on this list. There seems to be a clear bent in the top 10 towards alt and rap, although no way I can argue Prince, Public Enemy and Nirvana. I wonder where artists like Lucinda Williams and her ilk are represented, if at all.

2005-07-08 09:03:28
10.   stevegoz
Blah -- New Day Rising is #13 on the Spin list, while Tim clocks in at #32.

Scott -- this is going to be a fun thread.

You know who loves him some indie rock? Brandon Funston.

2005-07-08 09:49:38
11.   Xeifrank
If you read "The Numbers Game" you will find that the strategy of starting a relief pitcher is nothing new, it's just that nobody is brave enough to try it. The strategy is for NL only teams, which seems strange that it is only being tried by AL teams (Oakland, TB). The strategy is simple and goes like this. You start a relief pitcher and the first time he comes up to bat you pinch hit for him, then bring in your starting pitcher the next inning. The idea is that you get one extra at-bat from a non pitcher. It's kind of like having a DH the first time through your lineup. I'm not saying it's a good or bad strategy, just that this is what I've read about it.
vr, Xei

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